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There are a lot of black permanent markers in the world, and I couldn't help buy buy way too many of them to try and figure out which one was the best signing experience as I signed tens of thousands of pieces of paper. There's a longer version of this video over on Hankschannel if that sounds like the kind of thing you'd be into.

I mean...why not.

Signed copies (only available in the US...sorry!):
There will also be signed copies at local and indie bookstores!

Long version of this video here:

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Good morning, John.  I have done The Science, and the results, the results are SHOCKING!  

I've had to sign a lot of pieces of paper for the signed edition of my new book, A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor, out July 7th, you can order them now, there's links in the description.  So I figured this was like a once in a lifetime opportunity for some science, so I went on to Amazon and I spent an irresponsibly large amount of money buying permanent markets.

The biggest problem is that many times, to get one black marker, I would have to buy the entire rainbow, but I did it, John, and you wanna know?  I actually really enjoyed this entire process.  Now, there's a few caveats here.  One, I'm going to spend way more than four minutes on this video, so there'll be a long version over on hankschannel.  Second, this is not a comprehensive collection of all the permanent markers in the world.  It's only the ones that I could find easily, and third, this isn't really scientific.  I only tested one of each kind of marker, for example, and when I stopped was subjective.  It was when I felt like the marker wasn't doing well enough anymore.  

This is the Ticonderoga Ready Sharp Plus.  This is my favorite feeling pen.  First, it's got this little thumb divot that lets you push the cap off really easily, and it's also one of the few pens here that has a soft rubber grip, and the third thing that makes this pen a more pleasant experience is the smell.  It has almost none.  This pen uses a completely different chemistry than all the other pens here, and it makes it less damaging to plastics.  That chemistry apparently can also hold less ink.  It signed about a third of what our leading champions here did.

As for the worst experiences, the second worst I'm gonna say is the US Art Supply, only because the cap doesn't fit well on the base and it wiggles around and falls off and if--I can't be held responsible for where my pen cap is!  

But definitely the worst experience is the Pocket Shark, which is a pen that has a screw-on cap and is designed to withstand like, war, which is ridiculous because it only signed like 75 sheets of paper, so I don't need the outside of the pen to last a long time when the inside isn't going to last at all.  But the biggest problem with it is that it is just extremely unpleasant to sign with. 

Now, two of our top contenders for longevity of marker are very thin markers, because of course, when you have a thinner point, less ink comes out per signature.  What a Sharpie does and why they call it a Sharpie is because it's actually sharp at the tip, and so when you first start signing with a Sharpie, you are having less ink come out per signature.  As time goes on, the Sharpie actually gets more dull and more ink comes out per signature.  At the same time, there's less ink in the pen and over time, especially when the pen is moving fast, the ink isn't being laid down fast enough, and so you get these gaps in the signature.  

Now, people who talk about whether Sharpie is the best Sharpie, they really only have one major contender in mind and that is the Milwaukee Inksall.  It is a thinner tip than the Sharpie.  Because it has that thinner tip, it's going to have more longevity per amount of ink inside it, and I liked this pen.  It went really smooth, it lasted a long time, and I liked the design of it, but it was not notnotnot our longevity winner.

John, and you've said this to me.  You've said you've tried every permanent marker there is and that Sharpie makes the best marker and John, I am willing to say that some pen companies do better on the ergonomics, but Sharpie nonetheless, and not by a huge margin, did have the most longevity of any pen I tried.

Every time I went back to the Sharpie after using some of these other pens, it was just better, but John, there is also a stack of paper here that I did not include as a final twist at the end, and it is a massive stack.  It is 50% higher than the traditional Sharpie.  What pen is that, might you ask?  John, it is the metal Sharpie.  

The tip is less sharp, but it laid down some ink!  So it's not the sharpest tool in the shed, but it definitely has the most longevity.  I really thought this would be like, super worth doing, that I might find some diamond somewhere, but Sharpie really does have it figured out and this, what am I supposed to do with this?  

John, I'll see you on Tuesday.